{orlando} epcot’s germany

September 16, 2014

Disney’s Epcot World Showcase lets visitors experience the culture and cuisine of 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Traveling around the Lagoon in a clockwise direction, the country you happen upon fourth is Germany.

I’ve never been to Germany, but it’s definitely on my list of places to visit … I mean, what country isn’t? While I don’t know if places in Germany really look like this, I loved the painted flowers on the walls of buildings, the Snow White theme, and the Pickle Ornaments, which is supposed to be a traditional German thing. Apparently in Germany, Pickles are considered good luck! Alongside pickles, the Germans also love their sausages (which my sister and I didn’t try) and their caramel (which we did try). In fact, at Karammell-Küche, we bought a Caramel-filled Chocolate Cookie, which happened to also be heavily drizzled with caramel on top. To say that it was a heart attack of a giant cookie is to put it lightly!

Previously highlighted Epcot countries: Mexico and Norway.

A German Epcot photo adventure:

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{orlando} epcot’s norway

September 15, 2014

Disney’s Epcot World Showcase lets visitors experience the culture and cuisine of 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Traveling around the Lagoon in a clockwise direction, the country you happen upon second is Norway.

I loved visiting Norway for two reasons: It was related to movie Frozen, and online, everyone had been raving about the pastries. Since I’ve always wanted to visit Scandinavia and love the Scandinavian clean sense of design, I really wanted to get a glimpse of what the building in Norway might look like. I love how the buildings are natural-looking and clearly made from natural materials while not overly ornate or showy. I loved both the wood and stone designs as well as the Maelstrom ride (one of only two rides in Expot’s World Showcase). The Maelstrom gives visitors to Norway a boat-ride through the beautiful and lush landscape of Norway. Now more than ever, I want to visit this amazing country!

The School Bread (round) and Troll Horn (cone) from Kringla Bakeri Og Cafe were delicious, too, and made me appreciate how pastries don’t have to be overly sweet. I loved the herbs that were baked into the bread even though the desserts were filled with cream!

And, who can say no to ugly yet cute trolls? Obviously I have too many great things to say about Norway!

Previously highlighted Epcot countries: Mexico.

A Norwegian Epcot photo adventure:

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[good reads] harry potter 1

September 14, 2014

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goodreads-hp1 Ever since going to Harry Potter World this summer, I’ve kind of been back in a Harry Potter mode. When the books first started coming out, there was a book a year and it just so happened that I was the exact same age as Harry. The first book came out the summer before seventh grade. This meant not just me, but my whole group of friends eagerly awaited our Hogwarts letter … of course, they never came. We were hoping that just like Hermione, we would be the ones chosen from Muggles families!

I’ve since decided to reread all seven books in the series, starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling. Since I had just been to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, I especially loved reading Chapter Five: Diagon Alley and reading about Diagon Alley through the words of Rowling. It was extremely interesting to think about how her description of Gringotts Bank and her descriptions of Ollivanders Wand Shop evolved not only into their representations in the movies, but also a whole world where we Muggles can walk into the world she had originally created in her mind. Chapter Six: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters was equally intriguing as it described Harry’s first Hogwarts Express ride. It was fun to think about my first Hogwarts Express ride in Orlando at the same time.

Reading the books a second time (more than 10 years later) and now that I’m much, much older, I have much more of a appreciation for the descriptions and nuisances in language. I’m also able to spot the details Rowling had added early in the series to hint at later events. The many events surrounding Scabbers, Ron’s old pet rat, for example, become particularly important important books later!

{orlando} epcot’s mexico

September 13, 2014

Disney’s Epcot World Showcase lets visitors experience the culture and cuisine of 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Traveling around the Lagoon in a clockwise direction, the country you happen upon is Mexico.

I’ve been to Mexico a couple of times before and it’s true, there really are places in Mexico, especially smaller and more traditional villages that look very much like the Mexican world showcase at Epcot. This country also is home to one of two rides in this area of Epcot: the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. It’s a little bit of a cheesy and lame boat ride, but you do get an up close look at a Mayan pyramid and even a smoking volcano … fun! Even the market is fun to look around, especially if you go in not expecting to buy anything because everything costs an arm and a leg, which is very unlike the traditional markets!

A Mexican Epcot photo adventure:

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